Friday, July 11, 2008

A How-To Example of Mid-Range Planning

Currently I’m engaging in mid-term planning by working on my youngest daughter’s Bible, history, and reading schedule for this coming year. I start by making a chart in Word with a column for each subject and a row for each of the 36 weeks. This year’s chart has 5 columns: 1) card number (we use the history and Bible cards from Veritas Press), 2) title of each history card, 3) supplementary resources (we’re also using the Explorers History Pockets and Colonial Life from History Through the Ages’ Time Travelers series), 4) reading (living books that go along with each week’s history subject), 5) and title of each Bible card.

The key is to figure out about how many weeks a particular book will take to read and to put each book on the schedule in approximate chronological sequence. I am also looking at the “fun projects” and putting those on the schedule to coordinate with each history topic. I don’t consider all this planning boxing myself in; I consider it detailing all the possibilities so that we have many choices during the school year. If we don’t read every book on the list or complete every project, that’s okay.

While this may seem like a lot of unnecessary work, it makes my planning during the year go much more smoothly. When I do my bi-weekly planning, I simply look at my chart and decide what to do each day. That way when we get to the end of the year I don’t discover a really cool project that we forgot we had or discover a book about an explorer when we’re studying the Civil War.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to choose a subject and start setting up your fall schedule for it.